The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has always avoided cancelation rumors despite leadership changes behind the scenes. However, new questions arose as the late-night TV show hasn’t aired new episodes in months.
The NBC show has seen a shuffling cast of head writers and showrunners over the past few years as The Tonight Show attempts to keep pace with the competition. Jimmy Fallon’s broad appeal was often contrasted with the more politically-driven styles of Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel. That often led The Tonight Show trailing in the ratings.
Then came the shocking report from Rolling Stone detailing the alleged toxic work environment at The Tonight Show. Fallon’s behavior behind the scenes was also described as “erratic” and causing anxiety among his staff.
However, things aren’t so bad that NBC wants to go in a different direction. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has not been canceled.
The show remains off the air due to the Writers Guild of America strike. Fallon hasn’t been on the air with a new episode since May when WGA writers began to picket for better rates. Other late-night TV shows have done the same.
There are no indications that the WGA and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are near a deal. That means The Tonight Show likely won’t be back with new episodes in the near future. While the 2007 writers’ strike saw late-night TV shows attempt to go on without union writers, there have been no signs of that approach in 2023.
What is Jimmy Fallon’s contract with NBC?
Jimmy Fallon quickly rose through the ranks of late-night TV following his successful run on Saturday Night Live. He replaced Conan O’Brien as host of Late Night, then got the Tonight Show gig following the O’Brien-Leno debacle over a decade ago.
Fallon sat atop late-night TV for some time thanks to his friendly personality, viral videos, and impressive celebrity guest lineups. But when the Trump years further politicized late-night, The Tonight Show couldn’t always keep up.
Still, NBC made it clear that they want to stick with Jimmy Fallon going forward. In 2021, the network renewed The Tonight Show for an additional five years.